Saturday, 18 August 2001
I was not struck by a tornado, and I was just barely stung by a wasp, so I guess you have to count it is a good day. I certainly had a good time.
Jackie and I and Dad and Katy all went to Allerton Park, where we hiked around on the north side of the Sangamon River. We saw lots of birds (although I hadn't brought my binoculars, so I mostly saw little dots). We also saw lots of butterflies, including spicebush swallowtails, giant swallowtails and a reddish orange one whose name I forget (not a monarch or viceroy). That's where I got the wasp sting. Some sort of paper wasp, a rather large one. I think I must have shaken it off before getting a full dose of venom, because it didn't hurt as much as other stings I've gotten nor swell up a lot.
There were tornado warnings in the afternoon. We were in the Lands End outlet store at the time. The staff told us there were tornado warnings and we decided that (as long as we stayed away from the front windows) the store building was probably safe enough that it wouldn't make any sense going out into the storm in an effort to get somewhere safer. So we were hanging out in the back of the store. Then they came and told us that the warning had ended, so we headed out to go to Borders, only to learn from the car radio that the warning continued for another half hour. Perhaps the Lands End folks didn't want us loitering back there.
We went on to Borders, which is where we were when the front went through. The tornado sirens went off and the Borders staff invited everyone to go back into their office area, which they said was the safest part of the store. I read part of XML in a Nutshell. The building was not hit by a tornado.
Tomorrow we're going to meet for coffee at Pages for All Ages.